Ian Morris

Ian Morris

Jean and Rebecca Willard Professor in Classics
Fellow of the Archaeology Center
Affiliated faculty at The Europe Center

450 Serra Mall
Building 110
Stanford, CA 94305-2145


Ian Morris is Jean and Rebecca Willard Professor of Classics and a Fellow of the Archaeology Center at Stanford University. He grew up in Britain and studied at Birmingham and Cambridge Universities before moving to the University of Chicago in 1987 and on to Stanford University in 1995. He directed Stanford’s archaeological excavations at Monte Polizzo in Sicily between 2000 and 2007 and has served at Stanford as Senior Associate Dean of Humanities and Sciences, Chair of the Classics department, and Director of the Stanford Archaeology Center and Social Science History Institute. In 2012 he was elected as a Fellow of the British Academy.

He has published thirteen books and more than a hundred essays in scholarly journals and newspapers. His book Why the West Rules—For Now: The Patterns of History, and What they Reveal About the Future (published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 2010) won three literary awards, was named as one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, The Economist, Foreign Affairs, Newsweek, Nature, and the London Evening Standard, and has been translated into twelve languages. Foreign Policy magazine ranked it number 2 among the books global thinkers were reading in 2011. His most recent book, The Measure of Civilization, was published by Princeton University Press in January 2013. Two new books—War! What is it Good For?, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, and Foragers, Farmers, and Fossil Fuels: How Values Evolve, published by Princeton—will be out in 2014.

He is spending the academic year 2013-14 as a National Fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, writing a book to be called In the Beginning: A Global History of the Ancient World.

Other Affiliations

Department of Classics